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any advise on headphones amp?

Pi-e
KVRist
 
150 posts since 16 Jun, 2007, from italy

Postby Pi-e; Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:57 am any advise on headphones amp?

Hi guys,
I just got a sennheiser hd650 and the headphone output from my rme multiface is not enough.
So I was thinking about getting an amp.
I'm new to this stuff so can you advise me a good amp?price range up to 200 eur
any experience?

thanks!
lfm
KVRAF
 
4263 posts since 22 Jan, 2005, from Sweden

Postby lfm; Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:45 am Re: any advise on headphones amp?

Here is one I use for HD650 and works well(€119).
http://box-designs.com/main.php?prod=he ... er&lang=en

Good enough for up to 300 ohm phones, but if to get something that do 600 ohm for future it's not enough I think.

Caution is to lower output about 12 dB or so - as I can do in RME headphone outs.
-10 dBV would be fine as well, but +4 dBu is not.

It's designed for 0.3V outs like from hifi amp record out.
Not clipping, just feeling compressed if signal too hot.

Articles on levels here:
https://web.archive.org/web/20160102151 ... igital.htm
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aMUSEd
KVRAF
 
28609 posts since 14 Sep, 2002, from In teh net

Postby aMUSEd; Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:02 am Re: any advise on headphones amp?

I use Sennheiser hd650s with my RME Fireface headphone out and they are loud enough for me, what’s the problem?
Pi-e
KVRist
 
150 posts since 16 Jun, 2007, from italy

Postby Pi-e; Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:34 am Re: any advise on headphones amp?

for mixing it's not enough form me..if I listen to mastered track it's ok
I dont know but I would like a bit more..
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aMUSEd
KVRAF
 
28609 posts since 14 Sep, 2002, from In teh net

Postby aMUSEd; Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:24 am Re: any advise on headphones amp?

What difference does it make, is it just loudness or something else?
Pi-e
KVRist
 
150 posts since 16 Jun, 2007, from italy

Postby Pi-e; Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:49 am Re: any advise on headphones amp?

it is loudness, but I got the impression that if it was louder by a couple of db the headphones would respond better so is is loudness but also responsiviness..as I said just feeling, I might be wrong..

is it ok for you?I guess the multiface and fireface have the same headphone output
Ok, I have to say that my hearing is not perfect as I had problems in the past.

the thing is that, although I have some kind of treated room and good monitors the sound is shit(really shit in the lowend) I mean with headphones I can mix hundred times better than with monitors. So for now I have to mix with headphones and I'm trying to get the flattest response possibile(paired with reference by sonarworks which I think is great)

Am I the only one to experience low output volume with hd650 and rme?
JCJR
KVRAF
 
2224 posts since 17 Apr, 2005, from S.E. TN

Postby JCJR; Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:31 am Re: any advise on headphones amp?

If you have some hearing loss and you turn up to compensate, it can be a vicious cycle with no good ending.

Silly to be unnecessarily alarmist but if you suspect a possible problem then an audiologist consult might be worth the money. If you really do need some boosting, a pro might be able to recomment "safe" ways to do it. As with most topics, I have no expertise on this topic.

I remember years ago etymotics sold (thru audiology sources) the equivalent of "high fidelity hearing aids" for audio professionals, with customized EQ to help the hearing curve, but also multiband compression so that (presumably) the corrective boosting would be unlikely to also do further damage.
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Hooj
KVRist
 
350 posts since 23 Aug, 2012, from Way Out West

Postby Hooj; Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:55 pm Re: any advise on headphones amp?

What's the output impedance of your RME? (don't know which model you have or i'd look it up myself)
Pi-e
KVRist
 
150 posts since 16 Jun, 2007, from italy

Postby Pi-e; Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:11 am Re: any advise on headphones amp?

JCJR wrote:If you have some hearing loss and you turn up to compensate, it can be a vicious cycle with no good ending.

Silly to be unnecessarily alarmist but if you suspect a possible problem then an audiologist consult might be worth the money. If you really do need some boosting, a pro might be able to recomment "safe" ways to do it. As with most topics, I have no expertise on this topic.

I remember years ago etymotics sold (thru audiology sources) the equivalent of "high fidelity hearing aids" for audio professionals, with customized EQ to help the hearing curve, but also multiband compression so that (presumably) the corrective boosting would be unlikely to also do further damage.


thanks man I'll keep it in mind and I'll check the hearing aids
Pi-e
KVRist
 
150 posts since 16 Jun, 2007, from italy

Postby Pi-e; Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:16 am Re: any advise on headphones amp?

Hooj wrote:What's the output impedance of your RME? (don't know which model you have or i'd look it up myself)


according to http://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/multiface_2.php
1 x hi-power analog line/headphone output with volume 119dB(A) SNR

I dont see the impedance, maybe "Dynamic ratio stereo monitor output: 119 dB(A), 119 dBA, output impedance 30 Ohm"
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BertKoor
KVRAF
 
10176 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:15 am Re: any advise on headphones amp?

according to http://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/multiface_2.php
1 x hi-power analog line/headphone output with volume 119dB(A) SNR
That's only the SNR: signal-to-noise ratio.
What's missing in the specs is how many watts the headphone output can deliver. If you combine that with the efficiency and impedance figures of the headphone, you can calculate the peak sound level arriving at your ears.

If full mixes are loud enough but single tracks aren't, then you could apply some extra gain on the master channel, and insert a brick-wall limiter to prevent it from clipping.

Possibly you record individual tracks a tad too low. If you never let signal peaks go above -6dBfs, then you do have a headroom of 6dB but also there's still room to gain it before it will clip. Note that a bit of headroom is only needed for analog recordings. If (or better put: once) your instruments are all "in the box" you can go beyond the 0dBfs mark without any consequences. Internally in your DAW all signals are 24bit floats and they can go as loud as +340dBfs or so. It's all good as long as at the end of the chain (just before the signal goes out of the Main Outs of your audio interface) the level is reduced so it doesn't clip at the DA-converter.
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Pi-e
KVRist
 
150 posts since 16 Jun, 2007, from italy

Postby Pi-e; Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:14 am Re: any advise on headphones amp?

I dont do recording.
I could as you said apply some gain and put a limiter but it's not very comfortable while mixing..anyway I think I'm getting an amp then I will see if it was needed or not. According to some reviews it's not about loudness but also different headphones response.

thanks
I will keep you updated
JCJR
KVRAF
 
2224 posts since 17 Apr, 2005, from S.E. TN

Postby JCJR; Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:42 am Re: any advise on headphones amp?

Hi Pi-e. Apologies if explaing stuff you already know--

I suppose there is some kind of "technical audio excellence" advantage in high-impedance headphones. I only wildly guess that because it seems most of the headphones expensive enough to sell a kidney for, seem to be high-impedance. I'm too cheep to pay that kind of money on phones and will never know from first-hand experience. :)

The electrical formula for power is: Power In Watts = RMS Voltage Squared / Impedance in Ohms.

Some kinds of phones can get painfully loud at 100 milliwatts or whatever. 0.1 watts. The watts would not be everything, because I suppose some phones are more efficient than others just like some speakers are more efficient than others. For instance if you set up huge ultra-efficient pro-sound speakers in your living room and listen to 1 watt of music, it might be so loud the neighbors call the police on you. But some "supposedly hi-fi deluxe" inefficient speakers might be "barely livingroom listening level" at 50 or 100 watts.

But lets assume for sake of simple example that all phones get equally deafening at 100 mw.

A headphone designed to deafen the listener when connected to a wimpy portable pocket MP3 player might have an impedance of 16 ohms. Solving our power formula for voltage-- Amp RMS Voltage Out = square root (Power * Impedance). So for 16 ohm phones and 0.1 watts, Amp RMS Voltage = sqrt(0.1 * 16) = 1.26 volts RMS. The only "gotcha" is that the little amp needs to have rather low output impedance so that it can deliver most of the power into the low impedance phones rather than dumping a lot of the power in the amp itself. If the little headphone amp has a fairly high output impedance then it would have to output more volts because only part of the output voltage would get to the headphones.

OK, solve for 120 ohm phones-- sqrt(0.1 * 120) = 3.46 volts RMS
600 ohm phones-- 7.75 volts RMS

That is if all the phones are equally efficient and get equally loud from 100 milliwatts. If some of the phones are less efficient and might need 200 or 500 milliwatts to deafen a listener, then the voltage drive would need to go higher.

There is more to it than that and I'm not an authority. It is just why a headphone amp that might be real loud with low impedance phones, might not have enough voltage to do the job with high impedance phones. If a mp3 player headphone amp might be running off 3 volts of battery, or maybe some of the cheap interfaces run the headphone amp off 5 volts, then the engineer will have to go to some trouble to make that amp deliver anywhere near 7.75 volts RMS. 7.75 volts rms would be about 11 volts peak or 22 volts peak to peak, kinda hard to get that out of a 3 volt or 5 volt (or even 12 volt) computer-typical power supply voltage. Can be done with voltage multipliers. Maybe some units DO use voltage multipliers. Dunno.

If you have a good-quality, good condition old medium power stereo amp somewhere in the attic. Maybe 20 watts RMS per channel or whatever-- You could (very carefully) for test connect the speaker outputs to your high-impedance phones, and VERY CAREFULLY raise the amp gain just enough. Not enough to fry yer phones. You could make it a little safer by using a little resistor network between the amp speaker outputs and yer phones. Attenuate the amp output enough so that it is unlikely you would fry the phones.

You could do the same with a 200 watt or 1000 watt stereo amp, with heavier-attenuating resistor pads on the amp output. Just something with good fidelity in the 10 or 20 watt range might not be too dangerous without a pad for initial testing, and if the little amp has good fidelity it might drive your phones as good or better than some of the expensive headphone amps.

I'm not dissing what I don't understand, like $2000 headphone amps. Just sayin, something like a little low power 40 or 50 watt per channel ashly or crown rackmount radio studio power amp wouldn't cost like that and maybe work as good or better. :) Or maybe not, dunno.

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